The Box M Gang by Mark Redmond.
Children’s 1800s US Historical Fiction.
The year is 1875. The Arizona Territory is a wild, sparsely settled place. The Martin family’s Box M Ranch is ten miles from their nearest neighbor and twenty miles from Tucson. Ma has been gone for two years, and Pa hasn’t been the same since she passed. Something inside him broke when he lost her. Fifteen-year-old Ruth, fourteen-year-old Thad, twelve-year-old Sarah, ten-year-old Bart, and eight-year-old Billy have been doing most of the work to keep the Box M running. Consequently, when Pa passes away, the Martin siblings face little change in their daily routine as far as their chores go.
They do, however, face an ominous threat. Ruth, Thad, and Sarah know they can continue to run the Box M without Pa. They also know if folks discover Pa has passed away, the local lawman will load the Martin siblings into a buckboard and haul them off to the orphanage near Tucson. Ruth is confident she, Thad, and Sarah can protect their secret from the occasional travelers who visit the Box M, but she’s concerned about Bart and Billy. They need to practice their conversations with each other to prepare for talking with strangers. They need to pray for God’s help as they tackle a nearly impossible task. They need to work together. They need to become the Box M Gang.
During the next few months, visitors to the Box M include the sheriff, a bounty hunter, cattle rustlers, and a family with five small children. Some of the visitors stay long enough to rest and water their livestock. Some spend the night and move on the next day. Others overstay their welcome. All of them pose a threat to the Martins.
Can they keep their secret and remain on the Box M? Saddle up, and let’s find out!
Review by G: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Fantastic read! Reviewed in the United States on June 16, 2022. Verified Purchase. In The Box M Gang, newly orphaned Ruth Martin and her brother Thad, along with their younger siblings, tackle the challenges of running their ranch themselves rather than hazarding their future to the local orphanage. They must work together, be brave, and keep their secret quiet! Author Mark Redmond delights his audience once again with his knowledge of the old west, strong characters (both male and female!), charming storytelling, and clever dialog. His writing will enchant young readers and also entertain any older readers invited along on this adventure. All five stars are shining over this great read.
Reviews by Kathryn: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Wholesome and entertaining for any age. Reviewed in the United States on August 6, 2022. Just seeing Mark L. Redmond’s name lets me know I’m in for some refreshing good reading and another book I can gift or recommend. “The Box M Gang” didn’t let me down. As usual, it’s a great family read-together, youngsters read-alone, and no upper-age limit on enjoying. Written in the manner so many of us grew up with, the story has adventure and a moral without sounding teachy or preachy. Appreciate Redmond’s not lowering his standards as so many writers have done, thinking it necessary to reach today’s youth. We who write have the responsibility to keep those standards high.
Review by MomTimes4: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Another fun book from Mark Redmond. Reviewed in the United States on June 12, 2022. I really enjoy getting Mark Redmond’s books for our kids….they are clean and well-written, without annoying proofing mistakes. I can trust them to my kids without previewing them and know there will be nothing objectionable in them. But we have also enjoyed reading his books WITH our kids over the years. They are even great for grandparents to read with their grands. His Arty Anderson was a favorite series for my dad and the grandkids to enjoy and discuss together.
In this new Box M Gang book, we are introduced to an entirely new cast of characters, some loveable, some that I’m still not sure about, and a few that absolutely made my blood pressure rise in frustration.
Redmond has the knack of character development! The story resolved well, but leaves you ready and waiting for the next in the series. We’ll be waiting for it…. 🙂
Review by Tholritz: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. You won’t be disappointed. Reviewed in the United States on June 10, 2022. After reading & loving the Arty Anderson series and the Nate Landry series, we weren’t sure what this new series would be like, but we were sure we’d love it too. We were right! I read the first book in The Box M Gang series to my 10-year-old son and he would beg me to keep reading each night. We both enjoyed the humor and suspense. As a mom, I loved the family/ godly values presented and the way the siblings work together as a team. The chapter sizes were the perfect length for reading before bed and kept us excited for the next night we could read again. We can’t wait for the next book in the series to come out. In the meantime, we are starting the Arty Anderson series again. 😊 I highly recommend everything Mark Redmond writes. We’ve never been disappointed.
Review by Phil Truman. 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Growing Up Fast on the Arizona Frontier. Reviewed in the United States on June 15, 2022. Mark Redmond’s initial setup of his new western series about 5 orphaned siblings in the Arizona frontier, is a compelling read for teens. Packed with drama and captivating characters, the story weaves through the trials of fifteen-year-old Ruth and her brother Thad as they struggle to keep their young family together after their father’s death. On their small ranch, they bravely battle through threats from rustlers, squatters, outlaws, and the local sheriff. It is a gripping read striped with faith-based undertones. I highly recommend this opening novel in what promises to be a strength-of-character series. Phil Truman, author of Dire Wolf of the Quapaw and other Western novels.
Review by Amy: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Perfect book for readers! Reviewed in the United States on June 17, 2022. In a world full of books for kids that are shallow, full of terrible grammar, and iffy on subject matter this book is a welcome breath of fresh air. The author tells a captivating story while exemplifying great writing, good morals, and fantastic values. If your kid is going to read a good book this is worth their time. I, as an adult, thoroughly enjoyed it too as a quick read. You won’t regret spending time reading this book or any of the others by this author.
Review by Kindle Customer: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Not an author but an artist. Reviewed in the United States on June 15, 2022. As per the title, I consider Mark Redmond an artist. He vividly paints you a picture of the old west. Mark’s words jump from the page, making you feel you are not only a reader but are part of the story as it unfolds. I have read his other books and already knew this one was a must read. Isn’t it just so great when you find one of those books that completely drags you in, makes you fall in love with the characters, and demands that you sit on the edge of your seat.
Review by Mac Rollins: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Terrific Western Story for Young Readers! Reviewed in the United States on June 13, 2022. Author Mark L. Redmond has done it again. The Box M Gang is back with another Western Adventure. It is great to see a book, that any parent, would feel good about giving to their child. Full of action to draw you into the story with likable, believable main characters. No, you won’t find zombies or aliens. There’s nothing that will embarrass you or your young reader. The Box M Gang is a great way to hook a child on clean, adventure books with a sprinkling of Old West History & Lore.
Print Length: 120 Pages
Publisher: Author; 1st Edition (June 3, 2022)
Fiction Historical (1800s US)
Fiction Historical (Action & Adventure)
Fiction Historical (Christian)
Westerns For Young Readers
About Mark L. Redmond: Mark L. Redmond taught high school English for 28 years in South Bend, Indiana. He has published over 25 short stories and articles, a six-book middle grade fiction series (The Adventures of Arty Anderson), a collection of short stories (Five for the Trail), and two western novels for more mature readers (Bounty Hunter Nate Landry: Major Issues and Bounty Hunter Nate Landry: Family Fury). Redmond and his wife Susie were workcampers, who lived in their motor home for eight years and enjoyed exploring the West.
A member of Western Writers of America, Western Fictioneers, SCBWI, ACFW, and the Single Action Shooting Society, Redmond has been studying the West through reading and travel for most of his life (and he’s an old timer, born in 1953!). Mark and Susie now live in Arizona, where Mark continues to write.
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